The FAA Proposes $1.25 Million Penalty For Boeing

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) shared yesterday that it proposes two civil penalties against Boeing. Altogether, the fines total to $1.25 million. They are regarding allegations of violations in the program that allows the planemaker to perform certain functions on behalf of the FAA.

Boeing 787-9
One of the proposed penalties by the FAA is related to the inspection of a Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner aircraft. Photo: Boeing

The claims

According to a press release seen by Simple Flying, the aviation authority claims that Boeing managers exerted undue pressure or interfered with the work of its designees at the manufacturer’s plant in South Carolina. Firstly, the largest penalty equates to $1,066,655. This amount relates to the allegation that Boeing implemented an improper structure of its FAA-approved Organization Designation Authorization (ODA) program.

“The ODA program authorizes Boeing to perform approved functions on behalf of the FAA, including inspecting aircraft and issuing airworthiness certificates,” the FAA said, as per the press release.

“Between November 2017 and July 2019, employees in two ODA units reported to managers who were not in approved ODA management positions. Boeing failed to ensure ODA administrators were in a position to effectively represent the FAA’s interests, the FAA alleges.”

Furthermore, there is an allegation related to events between September 2018 and May 2019. The FAA states that during this time, non-ODA Boeing managers exerted undue pressure or interfered with ODA unit members. 

The other fine is for $184,522. Ultimately, This penalty relates to claims that Boeing did not follow quality control processes on February 26th. The manufacturer allegedly subjected ODA members to undue pressure or interfered with an airworthiness inspection of a Boeing 787-9 aircraft.

Boeing 787 windows
When it comes to widebody jets, the 787 Dreamliner is a favorite of several airlines. Photo: Getty Images

Strong obligations

Despite these incidents, the FAA states that ODA unit members fulfilled their responsibilities to ensure planes were conforming and in a condition for safe operation prior to issuance of their airworthiness certificates. The authority states that after receiving enforcement letters, Boeing has 30 days to respond.

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Simple Flying reached out to Boeing for comment on the FAA’s statement. A spokesperson for the company said that the proposed civil penalties announced are a clear and strong reminder of its obligations as an ODA holder. Additionally, the representative said that undue pressure of any type is inconsistent with the firm’s values and will not be tolerated. 

Boeing concluded by saying that in both instances, the allegations were appropriately reported, investigated, and disclosed to the FAA. Moreover, it said that it implemented corrective action in response to both incidents and cooperated fully with the authority’s own independent investigations.

Boeing 737 MAX 7
The Federal Aviation Administration has been working closely with Boeing on testing the 737 MAX amid its grounding. Photo: Getty Images

Important relationship

Altogether, Boeing will be hoping to resolve this issue as soon as possible. The two organizations are continuing to working closely together, especially over the last year with the 737 MAX saga. Therefore, their collaboration needs to be as smooth as possible.

All in all, what are your thoughts about the FAA’s fine proposals? How do you see the situation professing? Let us know what you think in the comment section.